Court okays $175 million payment for Naia terminal 3

October 15, 2011

By Rey Requejo and Ferdie Fabella
A lower court has approved the government’s petition to put in escrow account its proffered payment of $175 million for the expropriation of the Naia Terminal 3. 

The Pasay regional trial court ordered the terminal builder, Philippine International Airport Terminals Co., to produce a clean deed transferring the facility to the Philippine government as a condition for the payment, which includes a P3-billion advance. 

Judge Eugenio Dela Cruz granted the petition filed by the Department of Transportation and Communications and Manila International Airport Authority, representing the government.Solicitor General Jose Cadiz, who filed the petition, said the ruling would pave the way for the resolution of the long running case.
Dela Cruz designated the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines as the escrow agents. 

The court said the $175 million deposit will only be released to Piatco once it submits a warranty that the structures and facilities of the terminal are free from liens and encumbrances. 

“Upon payment of the plaintiffs (government) of the said just compensation in an escrow account, this court recognizes the Republic of the Philippines’ right to exercise full rights of ownership of the NAIA III structures and facilities,” Dela Cruz said in his decision. 

The court held that Piatco, as owner of the Terminal 3, is the one entitled to the just compensation as it had ruled in 2004 when it mandated the payment to the company prior to a government takeover.

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